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The Last Martyr
The Prologue and The Psalm
Is The Psalm of the Apocalypse a last days prophecy…
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Excerpts from the book
The wind, like a tired lament, mourned through the cool night air as a Doctor of Medicine and a Doctor of Theology stepped into what felt like an uninhabited wilderness. Such is the plight of suffering love. It sighs and sings of man’s grim struggle, an ambiguous harmony of two, no, an absurd symphony of all, an alienated doxology.
“In your first sermon dealing with this horrid plague, you said ‘We deserved this! We were guilty before God and we deserved this!’ What say you now? What say you about the death of this innocent child? We, yes, perhaps we stand guilty before God, if there is a God; but, what of this innocent child? Innocence bears no guilt yet is afflicted nonetheless – and by God…by a just God! No! I’ll have none of it! Never! Never! None of it!”
“Hear me! As to pain, there is needed pain and there is needless pain. That pain is needed is sometimes difficult for us to believe, especially when the innocent, such as a child, are unjustly afflicted. Nevertheless, we must believe this. We must believe that sometimes, somehow, needless pain is needful.”
“That which you deny – the existence of God -- is the very cause of that which you denounce – the absurdity of life!”
Here! Before me! Here stands Dr. Rieux! A lost man, a cognitive wanderer, an atheist with his ornery mind steeled against the truth. Yes! Here was Dr. Rieux, angrily wandering in a desert of doubt and disbelief and abandoned faith. Unbelief had become his illusionary oasis, his escape. At the heart of his illusion, he had accepted the idea that man is nothing but an absurd, grotesque dream, a cosmic orphan wandering alone, solitarily walking across the infinite nothingness of space – alone, without God because there was no God!
Anyone can deny the existence of God but no one can deny God existence!
Pity the poor Pierre Teilhard de Chardin – he drowned in the murky waters where mystics swim!
I learned long ago an important truth that I have had to learn, over and over again: the inner tension, the inner war, is the spirit’s hunger for light, for greater faith, being challenged by the darkness, the darkness of fear – and doubt. It is there, in the tension, in the tautness of this tug-a-war that fear is overcome as faith grows stronger. Without this tension, without this inner battle, faith will fail, leaving one disillusioned, alone and alienated, dominated by the darkness of fearful, duplicitous thoughts. This tension is a troublesome thing – but necessary.